Web Hosting vs. WordPress Hosting

If you are planning a new project and you’ve never used hosting before, you’re probably wondering what options you have at your disposal. The two main ones that come to mind are WordPress hosting and shared web hosting.

But which one’s better than the other? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each? How much do they cost? How good is the customer support for each?

We’re answering all of these questions and more in today’s article, so keep on reading!

Web Hosting vs. WordPress Hosting – The Definitions

Since over 70% of all of the websites across the world actually run on WordPress, you might feel like these two are actually the same thing. That would be incorrect.

When talking about web hosting, most people refer to services that can handle all the hosting for you and that are usually cheaper – you can install WordPress on your site with or without the help of the folks working for the hosting company. 

In general, web hosting is a much broader term as it encompasses several different types of services, providers, as well as features. 

WordPress hosting is a bit different in that you will get to enjoy the same benefits, but they are specifically tailored to websites that should run on this content management system. You can get hosting from WordPress directly but it tends to cost a lot more by comparison. 

Web hosting is an umbrella term for all websites, whether they run on Joomla, WordPress, or anything else. In short, WordPress hosting is a sub-category of shared web hosting. 

WordPress Hosting – The Pros and Cons

Some of the most significant advantages to choosing WordPress hosting are the following:

  • Security

When you get WordPress hosting, you do not have to worry about the servers being unsafe in any way. They’re built for WordPress and optimized for it, so they can be run a lot faster — this translates to better load speed, so you have a ranking factor all covered. 

  • Ease of use

When it comes to shared hosting vs WordPress hosting, the biggest advantage that you’ll get to enjoy if you opt for the second is that most services offer one-click WordPress installs. That means that even if you have never had a website before, you can still manage the installation process. 

Plus, most interfaces are user-friendly and in case you run into any problems, you will be able to ask customer service what you should do or how they can help you. 

  • Support

The people who work for these companies are actually trained in WordPress, meaning that they know how to install it and migrate your site from another host and solve all of your issues. That’s certainly reassuring if you are a complete beginner. 

  • Regular backups

It all depends on the exact type of WordPress hosting you choose and your plan, but most services that we have come across enable at least weekly backups if not daily ones. 

That means that if something goes wrong and one of the updates has led to a technical error, all you have to do is to restore the previous one — and it could just as well be the one from yesterday, so you aren’t going to lose any content, plugins, or other things you might have installed on your site. 

  • Bonuses 

When it comes to WordPress hosting vs. web hosting, since there’s a lot of competition between these services, you can expect bonus features such as free CDN, free plugins, free themes, complimentary SSL certificates, and even free migration. 

As for the cons, there really aren’t too many. In fact, one of the most significant ones we found is that you obviously can’t choose WordPress hosting if your site is not running on this content management system. 

Read more: Best WordPress migration plugins

Shared web hosting

This one is perhaps the most affordable option you can pick, and it’s by far the best that we were able to find for small businesses or blogs. If you do not expect to get thousands and thousands of hits on a daily basis, opting for a shared web hosting plan might be the better option than choosing a WordPress hosting plan off the bat. 

On the other hand, if you want to build a website for your brand and you know for sure that your products or services are going to be searched by lots of people, so you expect a ton of traffic, shared web hosting might not make sense for you. 

In short, the biggest reasons to pick this type of hosting are the following:

  • You’re on a tight budget
  • Your site doesn’t run on WordPress
  • You’re not expecting a lot of traffic

Best web hosting services

Bluehost

This one is by far one of the most popular web hosting services currently available and it’s even recommended by WordPress itself. There are lots of reasons to at least consider BlueHost if you’re thinking of starting your first site — and they range from 24/7 customer support to a user-friendly dashboard and a one-click install process for WordPress.

The service is so good that you can get your site up and running in less than half an hour. While it might not be the cheapest hosting service that we have come across, there are several different plans available and you can upgrade as you start getting more traffic. 

The Pro plan, for example, starts at just under $14 a month and offers you unlimited bandwidth, websites, SSD storage, as well as an unlimited number of domains. You even get a dedicated IP, which can’t be said for other options on this list. 

SiteGround

In spite of the technical problems they might have had in the past, SiteGround remains one of the most critically acclaimed shared hosting solutions currently available. Some describe it as the best option for growing websites since you can always scale up depending on your specific needs. 

The main drawback of SiteGround is that it doesn’t come cheap. Their most affordable plan is priced at $4.99/month, which is a lot more (almost double) compared to other choices listed here. 

The GoGeek plan, their largest, is priced at $14.99 a month and while it does offer you plenty of perks, such as the ability to run up to ten websites, 40GB of web space, daily backups, a free email, and managed WordPress, it’s still anything but cheap. 

The best thing about using SiteGround, though, is the fact that they have a plugin for migrating your website from another host to the new service. In most cases, the plugin works well — with the exception of sites that run on hosting from WordPress.com, which can be a challenge to migrate so you will have to ask someone at SiteGround to help you with that. 

Read more: SiteGround Affiliate Program Review

HostGator

HostGator has also become very popular in the past several years and for good reason, too. They offer better customer support compared to other services and their plans don’t cost a fortune, either, which we know is important if you’re trying to stick to a budget. 

The cost of the plans range from $2.75 to $5.25 a month, with the latter offering you unlimited domains, WordPress installs, free website transfers, a complimentary email address, and access to a variety of SEO tools. 

In any case, we’ve found HostGator’s business plan to be much cheaper compared to the others we’ve come across, so you might want to consider it even if you’re just starting out. After all, they have 24/7 live chat and phone support and 24/7 server monitoring and they put over 700 articles and 500 video tutorials at the disposal of their clients. 

Read more: HostGator Affiliate Program Review

Kinsta

Like WP Engine, which we will describe in a section below, Kinsta is used by well-known brands such as TripAdvisor and Buffer. That should give you a clue as to how reliable this service can be. 

The starter plan is priced as $30 per month, though, and it gives you one WordPress install, free CDN and SSL, as much as 10GB of space and traffic of up to 25,000 hits. 

They have more expensive plans available and their price can go up to $300. This one, though, lets you get as much as 400,000 visits, 50GB of space, the same perks as you would get in the lower priced plans and as many as 20 WordPress installs. 

For all of the plans, they can offer you expert support, a very secure network, and super powerful administration complete with staging areas. Depending on the offers they have available, they might even be able to offer you free migration from any other hosts ranging from A2 Hosting to HostGator or GoDaddy. 

WP Engine

Being used by big brands such as Pandora, Yelp, or even Etsy, WP Engine is definitely a fully reliable web hosting alternative. On the downside, it does cost $25 a month, which is actually more expensive than getting WordPress.com hosting. 

They do offer 24/7 support, excellent site performance and speed, as well as plenty of security. You also get access to heaps of premium themes when you sign up, so that means that you aren’t going to have to buy yours separately. 

What’s also worth noting about this service is that they offer free migration on any of the plans you end up choosing, as well as daily backups and free CDN. 

Servebolt

If you have nothing against spending a bit more for a good-quality web hosting service, Servebolt should be one of the options you look at. Granted, it does cost $99 for the Pro plan, which might be more expensive compared to the other services we’ve showcased here. 

However, they are fully reliable, secure, and they make sure that your website runs at the best possible speed. The customer support seems to be on par given the information that we found in in this sense. 

DreamHost

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly solution that allows you to grow your website as it starts to get more and more visitors, DreamHost might be right up your alley. First off, it’s quite affordable, with the basic plan beginning at just $2.69 a month.

Secondly, it’s extremely easy to use (at least based on the information that we have found about it) and you’re also free to upgrade at any time so that you get unlimited traffic. 

Regardless of the plan you will end up choosing, you should know that WordPress comes pre-installed on all of them, and you also get a free SSL certificate, as well as a WP site builder. 

If you already have a website that you run on WordPress, you can get the DreamHost team to migrate it for you, but it will cost you just under $100. 

iPage

Looking for the best cheap web hosting out there? If that’s the case, iPage might be the solution to all of your problems. When you first sign in, you pay just under $2 for the first month and every renewal is priced at just under $8 a month. 

We’d say that the ideal buyer persona for iPage would have to be someone who wants to build an eCommerce store as they have an in-built store builder complete with $200 ad credits that you can use on either Bing or Google. 

Migrations do tend to cost a bit more than what you’d find with other hosting services, but that’s normal considering that this is a low-cost option. In the end, if you sell online courses and you have a few of them, iPage is probably the best choice you now have at your disposal. 

A2 Hosting

If you want your website to run as fast as possible, A2 Hosting might be an option worth mulling over. The service has extremely powerful servers, which means that your website loading speed will be up to par. And since you know that speed is a ranking factor, why not get the fastest web hosting you can afford?

In terms of the plans they have available, they range from $2.99 a month for one website, free site migration, and as much as 100GB SSD storage to $14.99 a month, which offers you an unlimited number of websites, free automatic backups, and much more. 

In case you are having any second thoughts, we thought we’d add that they have a money-back guarantee, so you can at least try it out before making up your mind. 

WordPress.com

This one is the easiest to choose if you already run a WordPress blog and you don’t want any hassle with choosing your hosting, manually installing plugins, picking premium themes, and everything else.

The biggest drawback of getting WordPress.com hosting is that it’s anything but cheap. If you want to add affiliate links to your website, you have to get the Business plan, and that can set you back around $500 per two years. That comes down to just under $21 a month. 

On the other hand, the biggest advantage to choosing WordPress.com hosting is that it’s extremely easy to utilize. They handle pretty much everything for you and in case you ever want to pick a different plan or manage a technical issue, their customer support is absolutely excellent. 

Read more: WordPress.org vs .com

GoDaddy

We decided to leave GoDaddy right at the end as it’s been getting a lot of bad rap in the past several years. Some argue that it is overpriced, is slow, and has horrible customer support. Besides, you have little to no control from their server back-end, which can be quite frustrating for someone who knows what they are doing. 

The plans are somewhat fairly priced, although there are lots of bloggers who say they’d much rather opt for a similar service rather than have to cope with all of the issues that GoDaddy has. The cheapest plan starts at $4.49 a month while the Ultimate, their biggest one available yet, is priced at $8.49 a month. 

Read more: GoDaddy Affiliate Program Review

Final thoughts

Picking the right host can ultimately influence how well your website works and it can also have a significant impact on the work you can do with it. While WordPress hosting is much easier to manage and work with, it does tend to cost a bit more compared to shared web hosting. 

In the end, it all comes down to what you can expect to gain from the website you own. If you want to build a large eCommerce store or you expect your site to get a ton of traffic, shared web hosting might not be the right way of going about things. 

As you might have noticed from our selection, there are lots of hosting services available and most of them offer both shared hosting and customized WordPress hosting, too. If your website already runs on this CMS and you don’t plan on changing it anytime soon, the second might be the best option for you. 

Need help with your SEO or digital marketing efforts? We have lots of plans and courses available. Get in touch to find out how we can be of assistance!

 

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Craig Campbell

I am a Glasgow based SEO expert who has been doing SEO for 18 years.

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